Wednesday 5 December 2012

The Brindavana that yielded clear water

Two weeks from today (December 19), on Margashira Shukla Dashami, is the aradhane of  the saint of the Uttaradhi Matha parampare, Satyanidhi Theertha.
Satyanidhi Theertha was the 19th pontiff of the Uttaradhi Math and he had succeeded Satyavratha Theertha as the mathadhikari. He took Sanyas in 1663.
He is known to have ruled over the Uttaradhi Matha till 1680. He was a contemporary of Raghavendra Swamy of Kumbokanam Matha (The matha headed by Raghavendra Swamy during his lifetime was known as Kumbakonam Matha and it was only after he entered Brindavana it came to be known as Rayaru Matha).
Satyanidhi Theerha met Raghavendra Swamy at Kumbakonam and both maintained a healthy respect towards each other.
The Vijayanager kingdom had been finally extinguished and the Adil Shahis of Bijapur were battling with the Mughals and the Marathas for an upper hand in the Deccan.
Ibrahim Adil Shah, the second, had honored Raghavendra Swamy during his visit to Bijapur with a white umbrella and jewels. In the north, Aurangzeb was trying his best to stamp out Hinduism. The swamijis of all the mathas -Uttaradhi, Kumbakonam, Vyasaraja, Sripadaraja-were trying their level best to revive Hindu religion by their regular sanchara and Theertha yatre.
One such seer was Satyanidhi Theertha. During his poorvashrama, he was known as Kaujalgi Raghupathycharya.
Satyanidhi Theertha undertook an extensive tour of south India and visited almost all the important pilgrim places, spreading the tenets of Madhwacharya.
He then gave Sanyasa to Satyanatha Theertha and Gunanidhi Theerha and left for the holy places on the banks of the Krishna and Tungabhadra where he wrote “Vishnu Sahasranama Vyakhyana”. Unfortunately, the book is not available.  
He entered Brindavana on the tenth day of the bright half of the month of Marga Sheersha near Nivrutti Sangam where  Krishna and Tungabhadra river meet in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh.
Three centuries after he entered Brindavana,  the Andhra Pradesh Government took up construction of the massive Srisailam Hydro Electric Power Project.
The backwaters of the project would have submerged the Moola Brindavana of  Satyanidhi Teerthra.  The Uttaradhi Matha deiced to shift the Brindavana to a safer place.
Satyapramoda Theertha (the Guru of the present pontiff, Satyatma Theertha), took up the task of relocating the Brindavana.
Satyapromoda Theertha performed pooje to the Brindavana of Satyanidhi Theertha for almost an hour before preparations for dismantling the Brindavana began.
The disciples were asked to then dismantle the Brindavana. The process of removing the stone slabs began and soon the disciples who were engaged in the task began smelling fragrance.
When the Brindavana was completely dismantled, the devotes found that the perfume was from the pure sandalwood paste (sriganda) which was placed in the Brindavana.
They also found a saligram, Japamala and Counch (Kamandala), which was full of crystal clear water. The water appeared so pure that it looked to have been filled the same day. The water was not dark or full of algae as would happen if it is kept in the open for days.
Satyapramoda Teertha sprinkled the water on himself and his disciples. The Brindavana was later shifted to the premises of the Uttaradhi Matha near Pedda Market in Kurnool which was nearby and rebuilt in the same manner as the original. This incident occurred in 1984 and I have heard it from Satyapramoda Theertha himself and two of my relatives who were present during the incident.
The aradhane of another Uttaradhi Matha seer, Satyanatha Theertha, is on December 20.
His Poorvashrama name was Raghunathacharya. He was called by two other names- Vidyanatha and Ranganatha. He met Lakshminarayana Theertha of Vyasaraja Matha at Tanjore.
He travelled all over north Indian and propogated Vaishnava Siddhanta. He is the author of Abhivana Chandrika, Abhinava Amrita, Abhinava Tandava and Abhinava Gadha. His other works include Nyaya Sudha Tippani, Vijaya Maia, Karma Nirnaya Tippani, Rigbhashya Tippani and  Khandana Thraya Parashu.
He entered Brindavana on Margasheera Shukla Ekadashi at Veeracholapuram in Tamil Nadu. His predecessor was Satyanidhi Theertha.
There is another Satyanidhi Theertha in the Madhwa Parampare. He belongs to the Sripadaraja Matha and he headed that august institution from 1955 to 1980. His Poorvashrama name was Hebbani  Krishna Murthyachar.His Brindavana is in Mulabagal.
This seer was an embodiment of perfect health. Even at the age of one hundred, he sat without any back support.
He performed the Prathistapane of Raghavendra Swamy Brindavana in anumber of places such as Tirumala, Pollachi, Dharmapuri, Bangalore, Mysore and KRS. He always meditated the Hamsa manthra japa.

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